Japanese destroyer Tachikaze

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IJN Tachikaze on trials Taisho 10.jpg
Tachikaze on speed trials off Maizuru, 1921
Career Japanese Navy Ensign
Name: Tachikaze
Ordered: fiscal 1918
Builder: Maizuru Naval Arsenal
Laid down: August 18, 1920
Launched: March 31, 1921
Commissioned: December 5, 1921
Struck: March 31, 1944
Fate: Sunk in action, February 18, 1944
General characteristics
Class and type: Minekaze-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,215 long tons (1,234 t) normal,
1,345 long tons (1,367 t) full load
Length: 97.5 m (320 ft) pp,
102.6 m (337 ft) overall
Beam: 8.92 m (29.3 ft)
Draught: 2.79 m (9.2 ft)
Propulsion: 2-shaft Mitsubishi-Parsons geared turbines, 4 boilers 38,500 ihp (28,700 kW)
Speed: 39 knots (72 km/h)
Range: 3600 nm @ 14 knots
(6,700 km at 26 km/h)
Complement: 154
Armament: 4 × Type 3 120 mm 45 caliber naval gun
6 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
2 × 7.7 mm machine guns
16x naval mines
Service record
Operations: Second Sino-Japanese War
Pacific War

Tachikaze (太刀風 Sword Wind?)[1] was a Minekaze-class destroyer, built for the Imperial Japanese Navy immediately following World War I. Advanced for their time, these ships served as first-line destroyers through the 1930s, but were considered obsolescent by the start of the Pacific War.


Construction of the large-sized Minekaze-class destroyers was authorized as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's 8-4 Fleet Program from fiscal 1917–1920, as an accompaniment to the medium-sized Momi class with which they shared many common design characteristics.[2] Equipped with powerful engines, these vessels were capable of high speeds and were intended as escorts for the projected Amagi-class battlecruisers, which were ultimately never built.[3] Tachikaze, built at the Maizuru Naval Arsenal, was the eleventh ship of this class. It was laid down on August 18, 1920, launched on March 31, 1921 and commissioned on December 5, 1921.[4]

On completion, Tachikaze was teamed with sister ships Hakaze, Akikaze, and Hokaze at the Yokosuka Naval District to form Destroyer Division 4 under Torpedo Squadron 1 (第1水雷戦隊). In 1938-1939, the division was assigned to patrols of the central China coastline in support of Japanese efforts in the Second Sino-Japanese War. Tachikaze also served on detached duty in support of the Japanese Invasion of French Indochina in 1940.

World War II history[edit]

In World War II, Tachikaze performed patrol and convoy escort duties. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Tachikaze (assigned to Destroyer Division 34 of the IJN 11th Air Fleet) was based at Takao, and provided air sea rescue support for the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, and escort of convoys to Davao and Balikpapan in the Netherlands East Indies.

From February 27 to the end of March 1942, Tachikaze was based at Staring-baai, escorting shipping between Sulawesi and Singapore. It assisted in the Invasion of the Andaman Islands in April, returning to Maizuru for repairs at the end of the month. From June to the end of 1942, Tachikaze was based out of Jaluit Atoll or Rabaul, escorting transports in the Marshall islands and Solomon Islands. It was heavily damaged in an air raid on December 27 at Rabaul, during which its commander, Lieutenant Commander Yasumi Hirasata was killed.[5]

In early 1943, after emergency repairs by the repair ship Yamabiko Maru, Tachikaze returned to Maizuru, which were completed by March 10. Tachikaze returned to Rabaul to resume its patrols. She was lightly damaged by an air raid on Wewak on April 15. She returned again to Maizuru for repairs in May, remaining until September. From October until the end of the year, Tachikaze was based out of Truk, with its patrol area extending from Palau towards Rabaul.[6]

On February 4, 1944, Tachikaze ran aground at Kuop Atoll in Truk Lagoon while returning from Rabaul, and remained stranded there despite efforts to free her. During the Allied Operation Hailstone February 17–18, Tachikaze suffered heavy strafing followed by a torpedo hit in the engine room, which sank the ship by the stern. 07°03′N 151°56′E / 7.050°N 151.933°E / 7.050; 151.933Coordinates: 07°03′N 151°56′E / 7.050°N 151.933°E / 7.050; 151.933.[7]

On March 31, 1944 Tachikaze was removed from the navy list.[8]


  • Brown, David (1990). Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • Howarth, Stephen (1983). The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun: The Drama of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1895–1945. Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-11402-8. 
  • Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869–1945. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X. 
  • Lindemann, Klaus (2005). Hailstorm Over Truk Lagoon: Operations Against Truk by Carrier Task Force 58, 17 and 18 February 1944, and the Shipwrecks of World War II. Oregon, USA: Resource Publications. ISBN 1-59752-347-X. 
  • Nelson, Andrew N. (1967). Japanese–English Character Dictionary. Tuttle. ISBN 0-8048-0408-7. 
  • Stewart, William Herman (1986). Ghost Fleet of the Truk Lagoon: An Account of "Operation Hailstone", February, 1944. Pictorial Histories. ISBN 0-933126-66-2. 
  • Watts, Anthony J (1967). Japanese Warships of World War II. Doubleday. ASIN B000KEV3J8. 
  • Whitley, M J (2000). Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-521-8. 

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Nelson. Japanese-English Character Dictionary. pages 296, 960
  2. ^ Howarth, The Fighting Ships of the Rising Sun.
  3. ^ Globalsecurity.org, IJN Minekaze class destroyers.
  4. ^ Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Minekaze class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy. 
  5. ^ Nevitt, Allyn D. (1997). "IJN Tachikaze: Tabular Record of Movement". Long Lancers. Combinedfleet.com. 
  6. ^ Nevitt, Allyn D. (1997). "IJN Tachikaze: Tabular Record of Movement". Long Lancers. Combinedfleet.com. 
  7. ^ Brown, Warship Losses of World War Two.
  8. ^ Nishidah, Hiroshi (2002). "Minekaze class 1st class destroyers". Materials of the Imperial Japanese Navy.